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December 2012/January 2013 | Volume 70 | Number 4
Common Core: Now What?
John Larmer and John R. Mergendoller
Project-based learning is the ideal way to build the speaking and presentation skills called for in the Common Core State Standards.
From the early elementary grades through high school, the Common Core State Standards ask students to organize and explain their ideas in oral presentations, use visual aids, and speak appropriately for various contexts and tasks. Although teachers could give assignments that teach some of these skills in isolation, we have found that nothing pulls the skills together as effectively as project-based learning.
Project-based learning, done well, has already been shown to be effective for teaching content and problem solving. Geier and colleagues (2008) demonstrated that a project-based approach improved science content knowledge and science process skills among urban middle school students. Studies of high school economics classes showed that students taught with project-based units not only learned more economics content, but they also learned to be better problem solvers in economics (Finkelstein, Hanson, Huang, Hirschman, & Huang, 2010; Mergendoller, Maxwell, & Bellisimo, 2006). A 2011 study of elementary students by Expeditionary Learning Schools found that students in project-based classrooms scored higher on state-mandated assessments than students in more traditional classrooms.
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Copyright © 2012 by ASCD
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